Best method to make dogholes?

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Forum topic by deadherring posted 03-13-2015 02:20 PM 1563 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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77 posts in 1840 days

03-13-2015 02:20 PM


What’s the best method to make dogholes in a new workbench? The bench is 2×4’s turned on end, so I dont think my plunge router will plunge deep enough to get through it.

If I use a hand drill, do I need to get one of those jigs for hand drills to drill straight holes or is it not necessary?

Also, should I round over/chamfer the holes once I am done? What router bit is recommended? The hole sizes will be 3/4”.



19 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


8227 posts in 2346 days

#1 posted 03-13-2015 02:29 PM

I just used a hand drill. No jigs used or anything. Just eyeballed it. And I used a chamfer bit for my router with a bearing. Any would work since you’re only chamfering a small amount. Maybe 3/16” down.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Sparks8286's profile


72 posts in 1686 days

#2 posted 03-13-2015 02:55 PM

a hand drill with a forstner bit.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem.

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1418 days

#3 posted 03-13-2015 03:02 PM

If you can get to a DP you can make yourself some drill blocks, I glued pine sections together 1 1/2 and 2” high then drilled into them while clamped to the DP table. I bored a series of holes in a spiral pattern to increase the number of bit diameter options. Even though it’s pine they seem to be lasting.

-- I meant to do that!

View handymensch's profile


1 post in 1367 days

#4 posted 03-13-2015 03:38 PM

3/4” Forstner bit. Easy. To avoid tearout on the underside, only drill half-way through the top, then take a smaller drill bit and drill through the pilot hole left by the Forstner bit. Then flip the bench over (I know, easier said than done) and line up your Forstner bit with the pilot hole. Done.

View bondogaposis's profile


5086 posts in 2547 days

#5 posted 03-13-2015 04:08 PM

When I did my bench, I used the plunge router to start the holes. The I finished them w/ an auger bit. I used a chamfer bit w/ a bearing to chamfer the holes.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 2158 days

#6 posted 03-13-2015 05:28 PM

I’ve heard people talking about dog holes needing to be accurate, but I honestly can’t figure out why. I can’t think of anything that a dog hole is used for that really matters if it’s 1 degree off. But because people talk about making them accurate I used the standard hand tool method to drill accurate holes with a brace and bit and put two try squares at 90 degrees to each other to use to sight along the bit to make sure I was going in square. You could do the same thing with an auger bit and a power hand drill just stop quickly while you can adjust and go from there. I haven’t measured, but I’m sure I’m less than 1 degree off on each hole.

Found the video that shows the method I was talking about:

View Mykos's profile


103 posts in 1991 days

#7 posted 03-14-2015 12:03 AM

I used a brace with an auger bit. Here a good trick by Richard Maguire for drilling square.

View deadherring's profile


77 posts in 1840 days

#8 posted 03-15-2015 02:48 AM

Thanks all for the advice. Sounds like it’s easier than I think. Just a quick follow up: can I drill all holes all the way thru if I want to use any hole for a doghole or a holdfast or do the dogholes have to not be all the way thru in order to stay in place? If it matters the dogholes I bought are from lee valley.

View bondogaposis's profile


5086 posts in 2547 days

#9 posted 03-15-2015 04:09 AM

Dog holes need to to be all the way through otherwise they fill w/ sawdust and you need to be able to push the dog up from the underside and they double as holdfast holes that way too. I thought Lee Valley only sold dog holes on April 1st.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Mykos's profile


103 posts in 1991 days

#10 posted 03-15-2015 04:30 AM

I would not consider having blind holes in the benchtop. As bondo says, it’ll just fill with chips and dust and it’ll be awful trying to get things out. The Veritas dogs have a metal spring along the side to keep them in place, even in oversized holes.

View rwe2156's profile


3161 posts in 1677 days

#11 posted 03-15-2015 01:13 PM

I used a spade bit. Probably should have started the hole with a Forstner. But since I knew I was going to flatten the top anyway, the tear out was removed.

I used a couple squares to keep me lined up, but in retrospect, I would make some kind of guide.

Some dogs like LV’s “pups” don’t need through holes, but you’ll have to blow them out once in a while.

I would do through holes because then you can use a bench hook.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View benchbuilder's profile


284 posts in 2647 days

#12 posted 04-07-2015 12:40 PM

When you drill your dog holes, clamp a 2×6 to the bottom side of the bench where the dog holes pass through. Put clamps on from the outside edge of the top and along the length of the 2×6 to keep it tight to the bottom of the top, this will help or even prevent tear out on the bottom side of the dog holes as you drill through the bench top and into the 2×6.. i made a drill jig of 2×4 with a 3/4” bronze bushing in it andclamped to the top as i drilled. This also helps keep the holes striaght.

View deadherring's profile


77 posts in 1840 days

#13 posted 04-07-2015 01:33 PM

I ended up using a spade bit and a drill bit extender to get all the way through. It worked well, but I wish I would have seen benchbuilders advice beforehand since I got some bad blow out on the underside. But, no one will ever see it so its ok.

View BroncoBrian's profile


847 posts in 2155 days

#14 posted 04-07-2015 02:38 PM

I used a brace with an auger bit. Here s a good trick by Richard Maguire for drilling square.

- Mykos

Excellent and simple technique for getting those holes straight. So much better than the jigs I have seen. Most of what I have seen is flimsy and could not possible work as well as this.

Thanks for posting.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1620 days

#15 posted 04-07-2015 03:58 PM

I suggest using a drill guide and a straight edge.

-- Brad, Texas,

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